June 14. Chilean health authorities said on Monday they would extend a COVID-19 emergency through September to allow the government to impose restrictions, a setback in a country that has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.
The announcement comes as cases have soared in Chile to some of their highest levels since the pandemic began, despite 61% of citizens receiving at least one vaccine dose and 48% being fully vaccinated.
“The health alert that lasts until June 30 will be extended for three months until September 30,” health undersecretary Paula Daza told reporters, noting that many of the country’s youth and young adults – the last groups to be vaccinated – are driving the spike in contagions.
The South American nation is now embarking on vaccinating teenagers, and in May introduced green cards to confer greater freedom on the vaccinated in an attempt to encourage the wary to come forward.